Eating more green leafy vegetables can reduce diabetes risk in adults significantly. In the last two decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals developing type 2 diabetes worldwide.
Diets high in fruits and vegetables are known to help reduce cancer and heart disease, but the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and diabetes remains unclear, according to a new bmj.com study led by Patrice Carter at the University of Leicester.
In 2002, approximately 86 percent of adults consumed less than the recommended daily portions of fruits and vegetables, with 62 percent consuming less than three portions.
Carter and colleagues reviewed six studies involving over 220,000 participants that focused on the links between fruit and vegetable consumption and type 2 diabetes. Results indicate that eating one and a half servings of green leafy vegetables a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.
Fruit and vegetables can prevent chronic diseases because of their antioxidant content. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach may also act to reduce type 2 diabetes risk due to their high magnesium content.
Types of dark leafy vegetables include:
• Romaine lettuce.
• Swiss chard.
• Bok choy.
The latest dietary guidelines state the average adult should be consuming about three cups of dark green leafy vegetables every day. The average individual tends to consume only one-third to one-half of that amount.
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